Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday in Lent 2

Jeremiah 5:20-31

20Declare this in the house of Jacob,
proclaim it in Judah:
21Hear this, O foolish and senseless people,
who have eyes, but do not see,
who have ears, but do not hear.
22Do you not fear me? says the Lord;
Do you not tremble before me?
I placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,
a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass;
though the waves toss, they cannot prevail,
though they roar, they cannot pass over it.
23But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
they have turned aside and gone away.
24They do not say in their hearts,
‘Let us fear the Lord our God,
who gives the rain in its season,
the autumn rain and the spring rain,
and keeps for us
the weeks appointed for the harvest.’
25Your iniquities have turned these away,
and your sins have deprived you of good.
26For scoundrels are found among my people;
they take over the goods of others.
Like fowlers they set a trap;*
they catch human beings.
27Like a cage full of birds,
their houses are full of treachery;
therefore they have become great and rich,
28 they have grown fat and sleek.
They know no limits in deeds of wickedness;
they do not judge with justice
the cause of the orphan, to make it prosper,
and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
29Shall I not punish them for these things?
says the Lord,
and shall I not bring retribution
on a nation such as this?

I find here a profound parallel with what we have seen in recent decades. Greed has been given free rein and the financial sector has run wild. What has not been thoroughly corrupt has, at the very least, been amoral, though I would say for the most part deliberately immoral.

It is amazing how a segment of society can collaborate so thoroughly and efficiently to screw over so many people for personal aggrandizement and them ask to be rescued when hoist by their own petard (which should have just blown their flipping asses off). Since we (or our elected representatives) have allowed them to consolidate to the point that they become "too big to fail," we have little choice but to collectively do something to prop them up. It is the classic privatization of profit and socialization of loss that characterizes so much class warfare. And isn't it interesting how "class warfare" (endlessly waged by the powerful against the ordinary citizen throughout history) is dismissed as nonsense unless the ordinary citizens turn around, demanding something back from those who have robbed and abused them?

I am strongly in favor of "de-consolidation" in order to have many flourishing and competing (and some failing, no doubt) industries and institutions once again. I mean, really, who ever thought letting everything fall into a very few hands would be a good idea? Besides the greedheads into whose hands (whose avaricious grasp) they fell?

Given the prominence of the theme of social justice in the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings, and the Gospels, I should think it would not just be right-wing fundies proclaiming divine judgment. We, collectively, have behaved very badly as a society. Karmic reckoning should come as no surprise to anyone.

Grant, most merciful Lord, to your faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve you with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

--the BB

1 comment:

it's margaret said...

Some conservative radio host (sorry, don't remember the name) is whipping much of VA up--groups are meeting in restaurants and bars to prevent the socialization of America. In VA they are claiming that this is the way the Revolution was fomented, and they will employ it again. --they are organizing for the next revolution to prevent this bailout from progressing....

They are angry and scared now, ready to bear arms--where they hell were they for the last couple of years? I am not surprised--but I think there may be a lot of unexpected hell to pay in all this--like a vicious backlash by those who fomented/profited from the whole thing....

(Y muchas gracias amigo.)